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February 21st, 1949 – On This Day in Sioux Falls History, the whole city mourned the passing of an icon, Howard Wood.  Mr. Wood had served teacher, athletic director, and coach  Howard Wood took up his responsibilities at Sioux Falls High School (eventually Washington High School) in 1909 and aside from a two year term as coach of the North Dakota Agriculture College in Fargo, continued mentoring young people at the high school until his death in 1949.

For 40 years he was coach… football coach, boys and girls basketball coach,  track and field and cross country coach, tennis coach, and golf coach!  He was the PE teacher.  He was the athletic director and supervisor of the grounds crew (sometimes preforming the tasks of the entire grounds crew himself!).

He would lead Sioux Falls football teams to many championship seasons, organize and oversea the Dakota Relays (later named the Howard Wood Dakota Relays) and promote Sioux Falls sports to his dying day.  Perhaps more important than all of his athletic accomplishments, in his time here in Sioux Falls Wood would become a motivator, mentor, and even father figure to many young men and women in Sioux Falls.

In appreciation for all of his hard work and dedication the city of Sioux Falls and Sioux Falls school board named the old East Side Athletic Field, near Drake Springs where most outdoor games, matches, and events were played, Howard Wood Field.  After his passing, when the city built the a brand new stadium at the intersection of Western Ave. and Russell St. it was named Howard Wood Memorial Field. Truly a spirit of excellence, hard work, and sportsmanship was instilled in Sioux Falls by this great man, that still exists today.  We are all standing on the shoulders of the pioneer… Howard Wood!